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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

MORAL    JUDGMENTS    IN    HISTORT

the obligation to perform the particular act of self-
emptying that has been described. He is committed
to an attempt to learn all that can be learned by the
scientific study of just the observable interconnections
of events.

If we consider these facts, if we note the nature of the
questions which the technical procedure of the historian
is intended and qualified to answer, if we bear in mind
the intellectual realm in which that kind of question is
appropriately discussed, we are in a position to embark
upon an estimate of the place which moral judgments
ought to have in history. And in view of the situation
that has been described, it may be possible to reduce the
shock sometimes produced by the thesis which denies
any ethical character (in the usual sense of the words)
to the technical historian's universe. The thesis may be
asserted in so far as it means that moral judgments on
human beings are by their nature irrelevant to the
enquiry and alien to the intellectual realm of scientific
history. It has practical significance in that, granted
such a view of the matter, these moral judgments must
be recognised to be an actual hindrance to enquiry and
reconstruction; they are in fact the principal reason why
investigation is so often brought to a premature halt.
Yet we do not deny the importance of morality in life
any more than we deny the hand of God in history, if we
decide to conduct technical history without this postulate.
On the contrary we shall find that, at the last stage of the
argument, the historical realm emerges as a moral one
in what we may regard as a higher sense of the word
altogether.

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